Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Brazilian international Willian needs to add more of an attacking threat to his game.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder joined the Blues from Anzhi Makhachkala in a deal worth a reported £32 million in the summer of 2013.
He was immediately put under enormous pressure from certain sectors in West London as Mourinho opted for the Brazilian ahead of former Stamford Bridge favourite Juan Mata.
Over the course of the season, Willian’s fantastic defensive skills were rightly lauded by Premier League observers yet from an attacking perspective a number of questions were raised.
His boss Mourinho certainly feels he can add more as he revealed in an interview with Gary Neville how a bigger attacking threat is what’s stopping Willian from reaching the next level.
“Willian does fantastic work with the ball and without the ball. I say to him: ‘You have to finish a game of 90 minutes with three shots. It’s not possible you play 90 minutes in the position you play without three shots. Three shots, two assists. It’s such amazing work you do for the team, in the build-up, in the defensive transition. You do such amazing work for the team, but with a little bit of this and a little bit of that you’ll be fantastic.” He said, quoted by the Telegraph.
Willian’s lack of attacking threat can be demonstrated in the table below provided by Opta Stats.
|Team||Pos||Goals / apps||Total Scoring Att / apps||Total Att Assist / apps||Won Contest / apps||Ball Recovery / apps||Apps||Mins|
According to the data, of Chelsea’s attacking midfielders Willian has the both the lowest number of goals and shots attempted on average per game.
Fellow Brazilian international Oscar tops the number of shots on goal, averaging 2.6 per game whereas Belgian wizard Eden Hazard has played on average 2.14 key passes per Premier League outing so far.
There is undoubtedly work to be done on Willian’s part, but if his fellow attacking midfielders can keep up their current rate as a creative force, his lack of attacking intent will not hinder the Blues’ chances of wrapping up the Premier League title come next May.